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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why you need to Watch your Personal and Business Credit

By Susan Carter

Looked at your personal or business credit lately? Can you say that everything on them is being reported accurately? A successful businessperson knows that it is vital to have the habit of checking their credit history.

Its very simple. When you need to obtain funds for your business through a line of credit (or loan), or when you want to apply to a new vendor, they are going to look at your credit record. If you have not made a committed effort to be sure that your information is being reported correctly, and you show up with negative items, than these lenders may not view you as being able to manage your debts well and may decide not to trust you with their money or their equipment. The best way to make sure this doesnt happen is to regularly check your credit reports and verify that everything is in good standing.

Here are the things you should be looking for when reviewing your credit bureau reports:

Items that should not be there. There are two things that you want to make sure aren't on your report. Items that you have cleared up previously and items that never should have been there in the first place. If you previously had a negative mark on your credit report, but have been working to clear it up, you should always keep the paperwork showing the effort you made to correct this problem. All reporting agencies have a high error rate. There could easily be items on your record that were not yours, but somehow were put on your record in error. The sooner you notice them, the sooner you can have them removed. Anything that should be there. If you have positive credit such as paid off loans or other large debts in good standing, then you want to be sure these appear on your credit record. It is important that your credit history includes on-time, paid debts because when companies are considering extending your business a line of credit, they will evaluate you by the amount of current outstanding debt as well as previous debt that you have satisfactorily paid off. Is it your history? Nowadays, with identify theft running so rampant, it is not just individuals who have to keep an eye on their credit report. An identity thief can just as easily steal the financial information for your company and begin a shopping spree under your company name. Verify that all the items showing on your credit report belong to your company " whether or not it is positive or negative. Take a few minutes when you are reviewing your credit to be sure all the activity that is showing are accounts you have opened through your company. Don't hesitate to call on anything that looks suspicious. You may just not recognize a name, but it is far better to ask than to risk a bad situation that will only get worse.

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